P0131 is a common OBDII code that occurs in many vehicles, including the Acura TSX. It is letting you know that there is an issue with the wiring or harness going to the sensor, or the sensor itself is bad. There are also some less likely problems that can cause P0131. We’ll go over those below.
Acura TSX P0131 Symptoms
Typically, the only symptom of P0131 is going to be the service engine soon light. In some cases, there can be other symptoms as well. These symptoms include:
- Rough running engine
- Smelly exhaust
- Service light on
- Poor MPG
Most of the time, it’s not a breakdown risk. But, like anything that causes the service engine soon light to come on it is a good idea to have it fixed as soon as possible.
P0131 Causes: Acura TSX
Here are the most common issues that cause the P0131 code in the Acura TSX. They are presented in order (somewhat) of most to least likely to cause the problem.
- Wiring Harness Issues– The wiring that goes to the front and rear oxygen sensors is very susceptible to damage. This is due to the fact that O2 sensors are under the chassis where they are subject to punishment from road debris, and they are subjected to a lot of exhaust heat. The downstream sensor is especially susceptible to this problem Here’s how to find a short in the wiring harness (Youtube).
- Bad Oxygen Sensor– The O2 sensor itself is one of the most likely reasons that P0131 is triggering your service engine soon light. Although it is a temptation to replace it right away, it wouldn’t hurt to check out the wiring harness around it beforehand. See directly below. They are relatively affordable at Autozone or Amazon.
- Damage to the Terminal– The terminal that the oxygen sensor connects to (the plug) is also relatively susceptible to damage. You’ll want to make sure that there is voltage going to it. There’s more on that directly below.
- Wrong O2 Sensor– If you are getting P0131 after having recently replaced your Oxygen sensor, it may be that the replacement is wrong or bad.
TSX P0131 Diagnosis
Here is a fantastic video that covers all aspects of diagnosing the P0131 code:
It is possible to diagnose the P0131 with a multimeter. If you use the multimeter, you’ll know whether or not the voltage coming to and from the oxygen sensor is within spec, this can help you determine if it’s your TSX’s O2 sensor, or wiring harness that’s the issue.
If you don’t have access to a multimeter, it certainly wouldn’t hurt to check the wiring to between the fuse box and the Oxygen sensor first. If it ends up being a wiring issue, it’ll save you money over buying an unnecessary O2 sensor.
You can also use a voltage test light to determine whether or not the oxygen sensor is getting any voltage at all (they’re about $5 at Walmart). If it’s not getting any voltage, attach the test light to the harness plug and shake the wiring a little bit. If the light comes on, even for a second, you know that you have a short circuit causing the P0131 trouble code.
Good luck finding whatever caused P0131 in your Acura TSX. If you have anything that you would like to add, please feel free to leave a comment below.